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Full text of "The Governor's Alliance Against Drugs five year plan"

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Governors Alliance 

against drugs 



SEP 1 6 1988 

University of Massachusetts 
Depository Copy 

PUBLICATION : #15 , 265-9-1 , 000-2-88-CR 
Approved by Ric Murphy, State Purchasing Agent 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts 
Executive Department 







The Governor's Alliance Against Drugs is about people. It 
starts with the teenagers who in 1984 responded to the most 
comprehensive Massachusetts survey of substance abuse among high 
school students and told us not only that six out of every ten 
had used drugs , but that one out of every four -- almost one out 
of every three -- had begun using drugs at the age of twelve or 
younger. The Alliance is also about the eighteen courageous 
school superintendents who stood with Governor Dukakis in 
December, 1984 when we opened a second front in our all-out war 
on drugs. At first, they alone responded to the alarm summoning 
to action those prepared to confront openly the drug problem in 
their own communities. 

What is most significant about the two years since then is 
not so much what we have achieved as what we have learned. Our 
experience gives us greater confidence about what we must do to 
have drug-free schools and about our ability to achieve that 
goal. No single approach can prevent drug abuse. Rather, it 
requires a constellation of initiatives, activities and 
programs, each one reinforcing the other and promoting the 
values of a drug-free lifestyle. 

Our goal must be to deliver to each and every child in the 
Commonwealth the message to say no to drugs. That message must 
have many different voices and must be heard not only in the 
home and in the classroom, but in the playground, on the playing 
fields and throughout the community. Each child must 
educated to know how to say no to drugs. And we 
all children the support systems that will 
strength to say no. Only with this combination 
a counterforce to the constant peer pressure to 
alcohol as though it were some sort of "rite of 
through a sustained, long-term commitment to such an effort can 
we hope, in time, to reverse the tide of that peer pressure so 
that young people are not only the main target of this campaign 
but become our most effective weapon as well. 

also be 
must create for 
give them the 
can we generate 
abuse drugs and 
passage". Only 

- 2 - 

This is why it is important, five years from now, that we 
decide where we want to be by the 1990-1991 school year. By 
setting measurable goals, we challenge ourselves to marshal the 
resources needed to get the job done. It is also time to ensure 
vigorous monitoring of the impact of the Alliance, to measure 
our progress and the distance we have still to travel. 



Each child must be taught both why and how to say no to 
drugs. That education should begin as early as possible, before 
other attitudes can take root, and must be continued and updated 
throughout the child's formative years to ensure that the first 
impression remains a lasting one. The Alliance focuses on the 
schools as the primary, though not exclusive, vehicle for 
delivering these lessons for a lifetime. Not only does a child 
spend more time in school than anywhere other than the home, but 
a child's teachers and classmates are among the most important 
influences in shaping a child's values. 

Today, less than a fourth of all the schools in the 
Commonwealth have a drug and alcohol abuse prevention curriculum 
that starts as early as kindergarten, that changes to meet a 
youngster's changing needs, and that continues straight through 
to twelfth grade. As of today, our goal is to have such a 
comprehensive curriculum in place in every grade in every school 
of the Commonwealth by 1990 . 


Our children go to school to prepare for the future. But 
drugs present the greatest threat to both their schooling and 
their future. That is why the Alliance relies principally on 
teachers themselves to deliver the in-school instruction. This 
underscores the fact that teaching youngsters to avoid drugs and 
to cope with the pressures of growing up is no less fundamental 
to the educational process than teaching literacy skills and the 
duties of citizenship. In fact, one Massachusetts school 
district has used a state grant to pioneer a substance abuse 
curriculum that is not offered separately as a health education 
subject, but is woven into and made part and parcel of 
mainstream courses such as history, literature, social studies 
and the natural sciences. Whatever curriculum is employed, it 
is also important that knowledgeable adults be available to 
youngsters outside of the classroom, where the lessons learned 
in the classroom are put to the test. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 

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That is why the Alliance places so much emphasis on teacher 
training. So far, less than 25% of all Massachusetts school 
districts have sent teachers to receive special substance abuse 
detection and prevention training. Our goal is to double that 
figure by 1988 and by 1990 to have completed the teacher 
training necessary to support K-12 curricula in every school . 


The message a child hears in school must be echoed 
throughout the community. That is why the Alliance has called 
upon each city and town to establish a local advisory council as 
diverse as the statewide Alliance itself, made up of educators 
and coaches, elected officials, religious and business leaders, 
media representatives, parents and students themselves. They 
alone can tailor a total prevention program best suited to meet 
their community's needs and designed to make the most of local 
resources and talents. Council-sponsored activities can be as 
varied as special drug-free policies or competitions for school 
sports teams or local athletic leagues; a bumper-sticker 
awareness campaign, sponsored by the chamber of commerce, for 
families who have signed a compact to communicate about drugs; 
parent training programs; or the establishment of a drug and 
alcohol-free weekend social center for teens. 

Over the past two years, the Alliance has grown from the 
original 18 cities and towns to over 220 communities displaying 
different levels of involvement. By 1988, we plan to have 
enlisted in the Alliance every Massachusetts community and to 
have an active advisory council in each one meeting at least 
four times a year . 


Every student and every parent must understand that drug or 
alcohol use, possession, or distribution in or around school 
will not be tolerated. That is why one of the first missions of 
a community advisory council should be to review or draft school 
disciplinary codes to ensure that they include a clear and 
escalating set of sanctions for substance abuse violations. 
Community involvement in the development of these rules and 
support for their enforcement is vital to their credibility. It 
is equally important that all school personnel, from the 
principal to the custodian, know that they are expected to 
handle drug-related incidents head on and that they will be 
supported by their superiors as well as the community at large 
for taking action. In the months and years ahead, the Alliance 
will work closely with local councils to ensure that every 
school has a well-publicized disciplinary code by 1988 . 

- 4 - 


Youngsters listen to and learn from one another as much as 
from their parents or teachers. Therein lies both our challenge 
and our opportunity. Today, peer pressure is a major factor in, 
if not a leading cause of, substance abuse. Destructive as it 
is in getting youngsters to "turn on" with drugs, peer pressure 
can be just as constructive in getting them to turn down drugs 
and to turn in pushers. This is precisely the objective of 
student assistance, peer education, peer counseling and peer 
leadership programs and that is why we will work with 
communities to have peer programs operating in every school in 
every city and town by 1990 . 


School and police officials can and must cooperate if they 
hope to keep drugs out of the schools. But they cannot work 
well together unless each appreciates the other's primary 
mission of education and crime prevention. This is why it is so 
important that each school superintendent and police chief 
execute a written memorandum of understanding committing their 
respective institutions to a close working relationship based on 
trust and mutual respect and to the sharing of information each 
of them needs to get their job done. District Attorneys can 
also be valuable members of such a partnership, especially in 
those counties with juvenile diversion programs. 

Today, roughly 80 Alliance communities have signed a 
memorandum of understanding and, with the help of their District 
Attorneys, two counties are nearing complete coverage. By 1989, 
our goal is to have such agreements in place in every community 
in the state. 


As the Alliance message spreads and takes hold, more and 
more troubled youngsters are being identified or are stepping 
forward voluntarily, asking for help in kicking a drug habit. 
Their teachers and their parents need to know where they can go 
to get that help. That is why Alliance communities are 
encouraged to work closely with treatment programs in their 
area, to invite program representatives into their schools to 
meet with and be available to the teachers, to the students and 
to their parents. We cannot expect to eliminate the demand for 
drugs unless we are prepared to meet the demand for recovery 
programs. Therefore, an important part of the Alliance 
commitment to local communities is our pledge to work closely 
with the Executive Office of Human Services and the Department 
of Public Health to ensure an adequate level of treatment 
services throughout the Commonwealth . 

- 5 - 


Beginning this year, we will initiate a unique longitudinal 
study that will follow a group of 600 sixth-graders over five 
years to evaluate their changing attitudes and use of drugs and 
alcohol as they move into the critical junior and senior high 
school years. This is the most extensive in-depth survey ever 
undertaken in this country, to monitor ourselves, to learn what 
works best, and to constantly seek ways to do better. In 
addition, next year at this time and periodically thereafter, 
the Department of Public Health will replicate its statewide 
survey of junior and senior high school students and compare the 
results to the baseline data from the 1984 survey. 


To- win the war against drugs, the Commonwealth's resources 
have to be energized and mobilized at the grass roots level. 
Elected officials can and must provide the leadership to get the 
ball rolling and shape the public agenda to ensure the 
availability of public resources. Ultimately, however, it is up 
to the people who live and work in a community to keep the ball 

That is why the Alliance places so much emphasis on the 
early building blocks of a community coalition. Convening a 
truly representative community advisory council, drafting and 
disseminating school disciplinary codes and entering into a 
memorandum of understanding between police and school 
representatives — these are not only meaningful and necessary 
measures in their own right, but they provide a litmus test of 
the level of commitment within a given community. 

. To those communities prepared to make a real commitment, the 
Commonwealth offers: 

free teacher training provided by our regional 
prevention centers; 

grants to pay for substitute teachers while the teaching 
staff receive training; 

grants for the purchase of curriculum materials selected 
by the community; 

peer leadership seminars and institutes run by the 
prevention centers; 

a Speakers Bureau that communities can call to identify 
knowledgeable or experienced individuals to attend local 
meetings based on the nature of the audience and the 
purpose of the meeting; 

a newsletter to spread new ideas, to identify grant pro- 
grams, and to announce special events; 

- 6 - 

special daytime and evening programs, such as the 
K.I.D.S. Care program where recovering juvenile addicts 
address junior and senior high school classes or 
assemblies; and 

technical assistance to help local communities get or- 
ganized, overcome institutional barriers, or develop 
programs tailored to their needs. 

Moreover, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is prepared to 
commit a total of $63 million in state and federal funds over 
the next five years toward the goal of drug-free schools. 
Today, there is at least $1 million available in direct grants 
to Alliance communities to help implement local programs. 
Thanks to the foundation laid and lessons learned by the 
Alliance over the past two years, Massachusetts is also better 
positioned than any other state to distribute and take immediate 
advantage of the $18 million a year we will be eligible to 
receive over the coming years under the drug abuse prevention 
and education bill emerging from Congress. 


Every public and private institution in the Commonwealth has 
a stake in the war against drugs and a role in the Alliance. 
Not only does every employer lose when employees abuse drugs or 
alcohol, but today's youth are tomorrow's employers and 
employees. One of the most exciting developments of the past 
year or so has been the growing number of corporations and 
financial institutions who have become enthusiastic partners in 
the Alliance. Their contributions can be as varied as our 
private sector is diversified, but usually fall into one or more 
of the following four categories: 

Substance Abuse Prevention Programs for Employees and Their 

We have 
alcohol in the 
have developed 
that are not 
seek them out 

begun to enlist major companies to take 
for helping their employees deal with drugs and 
workplace and in the home. These large employers 
or are launching employee assistance programs 
just available to those sufficiently motivated to 
but that reach out to all their employees with 
information, guidance and counseling to help them understand and 
cope with their own substance abuse problems. These programs go 
a step further by addressing employees as parents too, by 
encouraging them to communicate with their children about drugs 
and alcohol and by sharing with them effective techniques for 
doing so. By 1990, our goal is to have in place business-based 
programs reaching at least one million Massachusetts employees . 

- 7 - 

Financial Assistance for Alliance ■ Communities : 

Businesses large and small can make a major contribution 
either by sponsoring local drug prevention programs in the 
community in which they are located or by pledging their support 
of the Alliance's Private Partnership Fund, all of which is 
distributed directly to Alliance communities. Already this 
year, generous contributions have raised the Fund to over a 
quarter of a million dollars—almost tripling last year's grant 
pool. By 1990, if we reach our goal, Massachusetts businesses 
will be able to point with pride to a Private Partnership Fund 
that will total $2.5 million . 

Celebrities and the Media: Getting Youngsters to Listen : 

Celebrities — such as those our children see on television, 
listen to on the radio, or admire as professional athletes— and 
the media in general have a unique role to play in the 
Alliance. Through public service campaigns and special 
programs, they can reach more people with the message to stay 
drug-free. For instance, the Drugbusters program alone has 
already reached over 15,000 elementary school children and their 
parents throughout the Commonwealth. Because they are famous, 
celebrities can be particularly effective with young people by 
getting them to listen— perhaps for the first time — to the 
Alliance message. As powerful role models, theirs can be the 
single most inspirational voice in getting some young people to 
stay clear of drugs. And by actively promoting the drug-free 
challenge, celebrities lend credibility to a message young 
people are used to hearing from authority figures and make them 
more receptive to hearing that message in their homes and 


These are the building blocks. None can be neglected, all 
must succeed. Our goal is the same goal that parents all across 
this Commonwealth are praying f or--drug-f ree schools. We owe 
our children nothing less than a commitment to work for 
drug-free schools by 1990. With this five-year plan, the 
Governor's Alliance is issuing a challenge to every community 
and to every community leader to join in this commitment and to 
seek out and help every school child in Massachusetts say no to 



Past 2 Years 

5 Year Plan 

School Year 








Member Communities 
K-12 Curriculum 







RLvJlxX lOI -Liiy 

95% 10 0% 

teacher training 

Discipline Codes 









— — 








Peer Programs 








Monitoring 600 


— — 

6 th 

7 th 










1 mil .